Burns & McDonnell constructing 250 MW of solar in Wisconsin

Burns & McDonnell provides the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services for three Alliant Energy solar projects in Wisconsin with a total of 250 MW.

The projects include Bear Creek (50 MWac/64-MWdc), North Rock (50 MWac/64-MWdc) and Wood County (150MWac/ 198-MWdc).

Burns & McDonnell will provide fully integrated EPC services for the program and will carry out the construction itself. In the spring of 2021, the team purchased 1.5 million bifacial monocrystalline PV modules during a volatile panel market, keeping the project on track.

“Our team’s ability to source the required amount of PV panels, in such a demanding market, was imperative to keeping project progress on track,” said Chad Cotter, director of solar EPC at Burns & McDonald’s. “Our understanding of the current dynamics of the panel market and relationships with the various suppliers have enabled success in this time of high demand”

Burns & McDonnell will perform electrical design, environmental studies and permits, civil and structural design for the PV modules, substations and transmission lines. The team will work to build the projects in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and supports wetland and wildlife conservation.

AZCO, a Burns & McDonnell company headquartered in Appleton, will perform the pile driving, equipment installation and electrical scope. AZCO will also manufacture and supply substation steel designed by Burns & McDonnell for all three sites.

Some of the civil construction and electrical installation will be outsourced to local Wisconsin personnel. These projects require an estimated 400 people for a skilled workforce.

Approximately 10 miles of overhead high voltage transmission lines and substations will be designed and built by Burns & McDonnell to connect the solar installations to the existing transmission infrastructure owned by American Transmission Company.

“We are excited to partner with Alliant Energy to help them realize their long-term vision as they build out these solar farms,” said Doug Riedel, senior VP of renewable energy at Burns & McDonnell.

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